Last week we saw climate change at the top of the agenda for both London Fashion Week and the G7 summit. This week, the environmental impact of Paris Fashion Week is at the forefront. More than ever, the spotlight is on the fashion industry and its impact on the environment. According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum, the fashion industry produces 10% of the world’s carbon emissions and is the second largest consumer of water globally.

Whilst the focus seems to be on what brands and fashion governing bodies can do, other stakeholders in the industry are also playing a key role. While models and influencers have often been seen as a driving force in the consumer demand for so-called fast fashion, more recently we have seen models find their voice and become increasingly hyper-conscious of the ethics and practices of the brands they work with. With a following of consumers who trust their opinions and recommendations, models are in a unique position to shape consumer practices and are mindful of the damaging reputational effects of being associated with unethical or unsustainable practices.

As a result, models are starting to play a huge role in encouraging brands to adopt and promote ESG principles and have more power than ever to shape the terms in which they enter into commercial arrangements with brands. A model’s influence is becoming a vital part of the sustainability solution and this is a major step in the right direction for the industry.